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San Francisco 18, Farrell 11, Chiu 8, Us 7, The City 3, Wiener 2, Kim 2, Us To Look 1, Palmer 1, Chester 1, To Do 1, Usy 1, Elaina 1, Loan 1, Eric Wu 1, Alisa Miller 1, Gabriela 1, Parkmerced 1, U.s. 1, Jake 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    January 28, 2013
    5:00 - 5:29pm PST  

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to purchase the unit from them because we could not sell the unit. it's just ridiculous what the financing situation is -- forced us to do. they're our friends. what are we going to do. plan c doesn't solve everything but i think it does a lot for people in our situation. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name's cole, i'm a t.i.c. owner occupier in the lower haight. it's a three unit building with one unit that's occupied. if this legislation passes i see three things happening with that building. myself and the other owner will have to get a good secure hopefully 30 year loan at 3% rather than the 6% we're currently paying. making life much easier for us,
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making it ease wh easier for usy in the city. the tenant occupied unit, the tenant will be given a lifetime lease. she's a lawyer, will have no -- enforcing that. the organization will get 145,000 from the quers. -- conversion. san francisco is famous for looking after its minorities. please give a little bit back to the middle and support the condo bypass. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name is gabriela, i'm a therapist who works with my husband here in it san francisco, in the lower haight. we own a one unit and a three unit building and i'm a first time homebuyer and previous renter. i've dreamed about owning in
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san francisco. my husband and i worked very hard to buy the one unit that we own and i work close. we work six days a week, 12 to 15 hours a day. i'm in support of the condo conversions and i would not be able to see as many patients and provide support like i like to do and be the person i want to be. when we bought the unit in it hopes that in three years of being a owner occupied building, now it's been many years after and the length of time has gone out of our range to condo convert. we pay 6% interest and are not able to refinance though we've tried and tried as we know there's only one bank doing it right now and have tried for a year. we're not taking away from the rental market and hope to support san francisco. we are unlikely to profit out of the conversion as there's significant cost in making the conversion nor are we taking away from rental unit as we're
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living in a unit. we want the pride of owning our home with middle class working people such as ourselves. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> thank you for your time today. my name is jeff, i'm a t.i.c. owner in district 10 and i've been in my unit for about five years now and was a renter 10 years previous. strongly in favor of this legislation. i like many other t.i.c. owners who have spoke today, took me a very long time and a lot of hard work to be able to own property in san francisco. and i been very involved in plan c and talked with individuals who are t.i.c. owners and can speak from personal experience that the majority of the t.i.c.s are owner occupied, people like me who want to stay in san francisco and quite frankly couldn't get into the housing market now if we tried. so i'm strongly in favor of this legislation and i am single issue voter, and i urge the supervisor to vote yes on this.
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thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> hello, supervisors. my name is eric wu and i'm part of the youth commission but i'm speaking as a member of the public today. i am speaking in opposition of this legislation. while i see that a lot of t.i.c. owners, who have given their testimony today, will benefit from this legislation, i think this legislation would have long-term consequences in the long run. i think there will be more evictions and many more families would actually -- it would actually threaten the livelihood of families and youth who live in san francisco. so i urge you guys to vote against this legislation. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> hello. my name is elaina or ozark. i'm a t.i.c. owner. we purchased in 2004. we've all owner occupied our
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units since 2004 and have no intention of renting the units out. in other words our conversion to condos will not take a rental unit off the market. we were 15 year plus renters. i was going to talk about how we are trapped into an adjustable rate loan. i thought our situation was so unique. i'm sure you've heard enough for today. i would like to summarize what a majority of t.i.c. owners seem to have in common. we bought just before or at the height of the market. we bought knowing we would have to wait to win the lottery but expecting that to take seven or eight years from the time of purchase, not 15 years. 15 years, that's half the time of a traditional 30 year mortgage. we also, and most importantly, bought at the start of one of the most oddest financial times in u.s. history. in a sense we were in the right place, san francisco, but buying at the wrong time. please help this island of misfit toys by passing this
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legislation. help us achieve our goal of a fixed rate loan. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name is chester, and i couldn't pass up the opportunity to be in a roomful of t.i.c. owners, admitting on camera what a flawed form of ownership these t.i.c.s are. i will be playing this video over and over for years to come and will be laughing and laughing. clearly this discussion shouldn't be about facilitating condo conversions and the t.i.c. form of ownership. we should be discussing banning t.i.c.s altogether. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. sue vaughan with the sierra club. i'm here to speak against this legislation. supervisors wiener and farrell, i guess supervisor farrell isn't here but you spoke forcefully in
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support of rent control earlier in the afternoon and yet your actions contradict your words because you're attempting to chip away at rent control right now. our largest source of affordable housing in it san francisco. supervisor kim, you had great questions earlier, questions about the ability of this legislation to withstand palmer lawsuits. regarding parkmerced, if people, who -- if the people who crafted the deal to make the garden apartments rent controlled in perpetuity or at least for the duration of the current tenant had not been so worried about the illegal weaknesses of the parkmerced deal there would have been no need to create the 200 million backup fund to protect tenants in case of court challenges and i imagine that 200 fund itself is probably on legal shaky ground. that could be challenged. so if the parkmerced development
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is on shaky legal ground i can only imagine this legislation is on equally shaky legal ground. there needs to be affordable -- there certainly is an affordable housing crisis and i understand people want to own homes, et cetera. but condo conversions are not the answers. and somebody earlier talked about the banks. i think that's a good place to start looking. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> hi. i'm here to ask you to forward this proposal to the full board of supervisors for a vote. i was unemployed for most of 2011 and part of 2012. being on unemployment the state offered me mortgage assistance and i went through the application process only to find that my -- was not eligible because i owned a t.i.c., basically. the mortgage was not federally backed. if i had owned a condo i would have been eligible to receive federally funded state
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administered help paying my mortgage up to 18 months. it makes me wonder what would happen if there were disaster in san francisco. will t.i.c. owners be out of luck while our next door neighbors can receive federal assistance, and renters. as a t.i.c. owner, my financing options are limited. as a condo owner i can get a fixed rate mortgage and save 350 a month and will give me stability and peace of mind, the same thing rent control provides tenants in the city. our t.i.c. is in district 3. six children live here. we work in san francisco and spend the money we earn playing and shopping here. we care about each other and pay taxes to provide services to everyone. in fact, my co-owners and i have paid over $250,000 in property taxes to the city of san francisco since we purchased in 2007. in the same period of time two similarly sized tenant occupied
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buildings on our block have paid less than 40,000 combined. that's due to prop 13. we are san francisco's middle class and we need help. although we don't attend meetings in protest we still deserve to have the full board consider this legislation which will allow us to help ourselves. i also wanted to thank the people in opposition who have acknowledged our common goals and that we need help but state that long-term solutions which i believe we need in condo reform isn't going to help any of us. we're going to be forced to sell and dump this problem in new owners -- >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. i've called all the cards. if there's anyone else who would like to speak just get in line, otherwise this will be the last speaker. >> jake, i live in a six unit t.i.c. in south of market, here representing our whole building. i really want you to support this. it's really important. i've lived here for 20 years. i was a renter for 13 years in a rent controlled apartment.
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i fully support rent control affordable housing for everyone. that's the issue here. not just t.i.c.s versus evictions. but for us, and i can't speak for all the t.i.c.s but we're all owner occupied, we've lived there from the get go, we're all single, we're doing this by ourselves which is rather challenging. even condo conversions can be hard as a single income earner. i'm a school teacher in san francisco. to biew my place i had to take a second job on weekends and during schooling. it not easy for anyone, certainly single homeowners. i hope you support it. it's important for us to have affordable housing as well. thank you. >> chair wiener: is there any member of the public who wishes to make public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. so, colleagues, this is now in the hands of the committee. supervisor farrell has proposed
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amendments, and perhaps first as to the amendments, before we decide what to do with the matter, we can perhaps discuss that first. but -- no. president chiu. supervisor farrell. >> supervisor farrell: thank you, chair, and to my colleagues and to the people who spoke today on both sides of the issue. i think as we knew going in this, there is passion on both sides here. and i very much respect that as the author of this legislation. and what i neglected to do earlier, was fail to thank my cosponsor, supervisor wiener, and thank you for your leadership on this issue as well. as i spoke before and mentioned this legislation was designed to benefit everyone. this wasn't a one-sided piece of legislation. it isn't designed to pit homeowners against renters and the rhetoric that has come out in talking about this
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legislation has done that and that is extremely unfortunate. what we did was to, in this legislation, is to support both homeowners and t.i.c. owners but also renters as well as affordable housing community. i think today, what struck me the most, to be honest with you, were the personal stories that came out. the last speaker being a teacher that has to work a second job, families coming out, young parents, nurses, and so forth. and to me, it's the personal stories here that are really behind the motivation of this legislation. it is not to do anything else. so, colleagues, i appreciate your endurance here. this is something that i've worked on for a long time. i know it's been a topic of debate for a while and something i hope we can move forward, for the best interest of san francisco. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you, supervisor. president chiu. >> supervisor chiu: thank you. i want to thank supervisor farrell and of course i want to thank the hundreds of folks that came out today, who recognize
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that we are here because fundamentally our housing stock is extremely limited both for tenants and aspiring homeowners. unfortunately as echoed today the situation has pit two legitimate perspectives against each other, those and the t.i.c. owners stuck in challenging financial situations. i want to thank the work supervisors have done with their proposal and believe they're working in good faith to address the situation. that being said i have been a tenant for 17 years representing an overwhelmingly tenant district. while i would like to become a homeowners some day ever since i ran for office in 2008 i've expressed concern with the proposal that has been suggested today. like many of my constituents i do not support the legislation in its current form. give the controller's report i have questions about whether the fee scale is appropriately set. while i appreciate the provisions for tenants, i have additional questions about
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whether there are ways to strengthen their protections. and my most significant concern is that if we allow the current generation of t.i.c. owners to convert, we will quickly replace them with a new generation of t.i.c. owners and additional real estate investments that will lead us right back to an identical debate within a short period of time. this is the first hearing on this important topic. as i said before if i had to vote today i would not vote to support it but i recognize that even if a majority of this committee voted down this proposal, supervisors farrell and wiener could collect two more signatures to bring this next week to the full board without time to see a comprehensive solution. i think both sides have been speaking at each other for quite some time but not necessarily with each other. i'm happy to convene an intensive negotiation process over the next two weeks between representatives of the tenant and t.i.c. communities to see if
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there it is a better solution to work. to that end i would propose a four week continuance to february 25, and hope over the next couple of weeks we can do that work and on february 25, either we might have some different proposals to consider, or this committee can decide at that time how to move forward. >> chair wiener: thank you president chiu. he has made a motion. is there a second? >> co-chair kim: second. >> chair wiener: seconded by supervisor kim. supervisor kim. >> co-chair kim: thank you. i want to appreciate president chiu's thoughts and appreciated the last few hours, hearing the personal stories of our first time homeowners and our tenants in san francisco and really feeling that it was very tragic that we have set up a situation where folks that need to be homeowners and renters and live in san francisco are pitted against each other within the same group of housing stock. and what we're talking about specifically of course is our
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rent controlled housing stock. and i think the larger problem that i really see today of course is how our banks and our realtors set up -- you know many of our first time owners, in many ways for failure or incredibly difficult time being homeowners in san francisco, with higher interest rates, just very kind of -- forcing people to feel like they're stuck in the place that they are. at the same time, we've got to hear about how renters are feeling the squeeze as well in the current economy as rent continues to rise. as someone who went back on the rental market a couple of months ago i recognize how challenging that is. i have the same concerns that president chiu has brought up. one of course is the fee scale and how that's been set up. i think that 7.4 to 24.7 million for affordable housing is great. i'm not sure if that dollar amounts really makes up for the loss of potentially 1800 units of once rent controlled units
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being lost in one fell swoop. i think, over all, something that i'm probably most interested in, is what we do for the the next generation of folks that may also get pushed or encouraged into t.i.c. home ownership. i think it's one of the things our city does not want to encourage. the one thing we will never be able to build more of is rent controlled units. that is a depleting stock every year. and we don't want homeowners that can't afford to buy homes competing with tenants in rent controlled units. but i'm very sympathetic to the current status of our existing t.i.c. owners in the status that they're in. so i'd really like to see if we can come up with some kind of solution that will help our t.i.c. owners, particularly the ones -- and i think it's important that it be owner occupied. i think we should be looking at a ban of fill for five or 10 years to ensure that these are folks planning on living in their units and not flip.
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and i think we should be talking about if we allow 1800 potential units to go through in this year are we talking about a freeze over the next nine or 10 years. so what we're trying to avoid is people stuck in a process for eight to 10 years and that's the actual challenge. then maybe we help take care of those folks today, but then actually do a freeze on future condo conversion so that we're not encouraging other folks to enter into that field, knowing that that bypass is given today. the reason why i asked the question of some of the public commenters about whether they were t.i.c. owners currently its not because they don't have skin in the game. it's in everyone's right to speak in favor or in opposition of legislation, regardless of their status, or the position that they hold within the legislation. my concern was that other folks were looking at this legislation as an ice break for more, for more condo conversion in the future. so we were getting public
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comment from folks who were hoping in the future that they too can then become t.i.c. owners and then get a bypass in five or 10 years. that's the concern that i had. i know the authors have said that's speculation but public comment today has proved that far from speculation, that people are looking at this passage as an indication of whether they should encourage more t.i.c. ownership and that for me is problematic because we are talking about then cannibalizing further our rent control housing stock. so i do support this continuance. i think there is a real issue today that we should try to see if we can address which is specifically t.i.c. homeowners who are facing financial distress, who are potentially going under the water. i think there are ways for us to look at that and to ensure that we are able to help those folks. but we are able to do that with a balance of understanding that a rent control unit unfortunately are an important part of what makes the city affordable. and that we're frankly just not
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building enough affordable housing to keep up with the loss due to condo conversion every year. so i look forward to this dialogue over the next couple of weeks. and will be supporting that motion today. >> chair wiener: thank you, supervisor kim. obviously i support this legislation, as i am a cosponsor, and i -- (no audio) -- addressing the very real needs of both t.i.c. owners and renters. i want to stress my view that this is a one-time mechanism, and understand there was one member of the public that i recall who said that this was a -- paraphrasing an ice breaker for future bypasses. that's not my view and certainly not nig my intent. i want to take a moment to complement members of the public who were here today. i think we've been through some
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contentious hearings that sometimes devolve into name calling and pretty raucous behavior. this is an incredibly intense issue for everyone involved. it's very personal for t.i.c. owners, for renters, for many, many different people. and yet this hearing was an incredibly civil and i think substantive hearing. and it was great not only that people were so thoughtful on both sides in their comments, but that it really appeared that by and large everyone who spoke would say their view and then acknowledge the views of the other side. and really underscoring that this is not a black and white issue. this is a very difficult issue, where everyone is on the -- in terms of supporting or not supporting. i also wanted -- for me, personally, this is a tough
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issue. i know and have met many t.i.c. owners who i represent and also in the city who are struggling in a huge way. and i do think that -- supervisor kim you have not demonized anyone but others have done sort of blanket demonization of t.i.c. owners that they're real estate speculators, they're in the 1%, so that unfortunately that has happened, they don't deserve it. but also, i moved here in the 90's and i saw some of the abuses that were happening in the 90's. and as a young lawyer in private practice i did pro bono representation through the lawyers committee for civil rights of quite a few tenants who were facing ellis act evictions, owner move-in evictions sometimes abusive owner move-in evictions, his people living with hiv. so this is something that i've seen firsthand. so i don't pretend this is an easy issue. this is about an incredibly hard issue i think for everyone
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involved. but i agree that it is -- there is a problem that we do need to address, even though we may have different perspectives on how to address it. and then i just want to address a number of times people have brought up the issue of it's the bank's fault, it's the fault of the banks or the realtor so we need to go after them. whether or not that's true, when you look at the foreclosure crisis, although we have gone after the banks, we've also done everything we can to help people who are facing foreclosure. prop c itself contains a fund that has helped -- to help stabilize housing, including people who are facing foreclosure. so i think as a government, in addition to holding folks accountable who need to be held accountable, when people are in a bad situation we try to help them. so it's appropriate to do that here. i'm very glad to hear president chiu talking about intensive
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working group, bringing all sides together, to try to resolve this. i'm the eternal optimist so i hope that that is successful and am glad to hear people are willing to come to the table. last year, supervisor farrell and i tried to raise this issue in a very broad based collaborative way to try to get a broad based discussion about it, and we were told in no uncertain terms, no, it's not even open for discussion. so i'm very, very glad to hear that maybe that has changed and that maybe there will be a good faith discussion to try to come to a resolution here, to help people who are struggling. and so i look forward to that. so i obviously i would prefer that we put this out of committee today, but given the comments of president chiu and supervisor kim, and the desire to have this working group, i will support the motion to continue to february 25. supervisor farrell. >> supervisor farrell: thank you, chair wiener. thank you to my colleagues.
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you know, again, i think to echo what a number of us have said, i do respect the the dialogue that happened today. and i do concur with chair wiener that the comments that both people on both sides of the debate acknowledge the other side's merits and a desire to work together so it is appropriate that we decide to do that. and i look forward to the next few weeks. this is something that is -- as i mentioned before is not going away. it's affecting families on a monthly basis here and it's something that i very much want to see tackled and handled as soon as we can and i commit full time and resources to make that happen and look forward to that debate 12k3w4r-78 thank you. so -- >> chair wiener: thank you. we have amendments that have been proposed by supervisor farrell, and can we take those amendments without objection? that will be the order. and now we have a motion to continue on the table, and it's been seconded, this is a motion to continue the item until
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february 25 can we take that outobjection? that will be the order. is? any other business before the committee? >> alisa miller: there are no other further matters. >> chair wiener: then we are adjourned.
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